Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ask a Horse About a Fish

I name-checked Redhorse in yesterday's post about Akron's Bass Pro Shops deal and he reeled it in. Not only does he give a fisher's enthusiastic review of the business, he ventured into the Dark and Scary Place that is the Ohio.com comments section and answered a number of the argumentish rants found there.

He notes the following misinformation in the ABJ story:

    Impact facilities are those described as spending at least $50m in land, buildings, and infrastructure over 2 years, creating 100 jobs, providing an educational component, and pulling in visitors from at least 100 miles away according to the Beacon. The PD states the job creation level is 150 and the organization must draw half its customers from more than 100 miles away. The ORC says Zach Lewis of PD got it right.
While Red says people will indeed come from 100 miles away, I am skeptical that half the customers will be from that far off. Contra the comments on Ohio.com, plenty of people around here fish, especially once you get out of Akron and into the townships in Summit, plus Portage, Geauga and beyond. As Red notes, head east of here and you find glacial lake after reservoir after tributary. Point is, there are so many fishing fans who are less than 100 miles away, I don't see getting another half from more than 100 miles. If Bass Pro is serious about meeting that commitment, you will see loads of special events.

According to ABJ staff, this story is on the local/politics beat of Kymberli Hagelberg who was off that night. Kymberli assures me she is tracking down where the deal goes next. Keep an eye on the paper over the next couple of days for that.

2 comments:

Bill Sloat said...

Pho --

I have sometimes stopped and shopped at the Bass Pro store in "Cincinnati" (which is actually in the northern suburbs off I-275 in a mall called Cincinnati Mills that has a shaky history).

I don't think it is a destination at all -- just a big sporting goods store that emphasizes fishing etc. It doesn't compare to Kings Island, or a state park on Lake Erie, or a Fortune 500 headquarters. While it is great to have in this area, I don't see how anyone can consider it a huge ecomonic development prize or growth engine. It's a store -- basically a Wal-Mart sporting goods section that is on steroids.

redhorse said...

fwiw, I'm also skeptical that over 50% of the customers will come from over 100 miles away. First, we have enough people in NEO to make the business sing. More to the point, customers from as far south as Cambridge won't satisfy the 100 mile stipulation.